menuMENU    UK Free TV logo Archive (2002-)



Click to see updates

Northern Ireland RTE1, RTE2, TG4 special mini-multiplex from 24 October

From 24 October 2012, a special selection of services from the Republic of Ireland will be broadcast to homes in Northern Ireland. This will consist of a special multiplex from three transmitters in Northern Ireland, and intentional transmitter overspill from the Republic.

From 24 October 2012, a special selection of services from the
published on UK Free TV

Following on from the 1st February 2012, article Northern Ireland "mini multiplex" (NIMM), here is a summary of the services that will be available to most Freeview homes in Northern Ireland.

It is VERY IMPORTANT to note, however, that you MUST have Freeview HD (DVB-T2) equipment to receive RTE1, RTE2 and TG4 - even though the services are NOT provided in high definition from the Northern Ireland transmitters.

Many homes in the province will be able to get a special "Northern Ireland" mini-multiplex from one of three transmitters - Brougher Mountain (Enniskillen AND Omagh) , Black Mountain and Carnmoney Hill (both Belfast). This very special service is broadcast using the latest standards, which are called DVB-T2 and MPEG4. In the UK, these are used to provide high definition, but only in Northern Ireland are they used to provide three standard definition services from RoI.

The NIMM coverage from these transmitters is shown here:

Northern Ireland Mini Mulitplex coverage map

If you get the NIMM, you will find channel 51 is TG4, 52 is RTE ONE, and 53 is RTE TWO.

This is shown on the transmitter pages like this (Carnmoney Hill) example:

If you can't get the NIMM, you will probably be able to get the extra channels directly from transmitters in the RoI. The following map shows the transmitters:

Your existing aerial may not be the right "group", or be pointing in the correct direction.

The RoI service is called Saorview (which is Irish for "Freeview") - see Saorview interactive map.

However, even though Saorview broadcasts in DVB-T mode, it uses the MPEG4 "compression" system - most UK non-HD boxes use MPEG2 (apart from BT Vision boxes, which support MPEG4). So, again, you will need a Freeview HD box.

Set top box compatibility for Freeview, Freeview HD, Saorview and the NIMM

The services broadcast on Saorview at the time of writing are:

1 RTE One, 2 RTE Two HD, 3 TV3, 4 TG4, 5 RTE News Now/Euronews, 6 3e, 7 RTE jr, 8 RTE One +1, 200 RTE Radio 1, 201 RTE Radio 1 Extra, 202 RTE 2FM, 203 RTE Lyric FM, 204 RTE Raidio na Gaeltachta, 205 RTE Pulse, 206 RTE 2XM, 207 RTE Choice, 208 RTE Gold, 209 RTE Chill, 209 RTE Junior,

It is possible that the Freeview HD box will not place the channels on these numbers, but in the 800-899 range.

The Saorview trasmitter pages show the information like this:

Multiplex Broadcasting Services N I Ltd is the not-for-profit joint venture formed by RTE and TG4 to operate a new additional multiplex from a small number of transmission sites in Northern Ireland. The UK and Republic of Ireland Governments Memorandum of Understanding of February 2010 confirmed their intention to make TG4 available on digital terrestrial TV to much of Northern Ireland and to also facilitate the provision of RTE One and RTE Two through NImux or overspill from Saorview (the Republic of Ireland digital TV service).

Ofcom predicts that NIMM services will reach 76% of the population in Northern Ireland and that Saorview overspill will reach 56% of Northern Ireland viewers. Ofcom also predicts that the combined NIMM and Saorview coverage will reach 93.3% of Northern Ireland viewers.

Help with Freeview, aerials?
How do I get a test card with Freeview1
I would like to know if it is possible to receive UK terrestrial Freeview servic2
I have been told I would receive too much singal from my Freeview tansmitter as 3
Can my Freeview box receive more than one BBC and ITV region?4
Is it true that my 87 year old mother is entitled to a FREE upgrade when the ana5
In this section
Should the UK close down the TV networks to allow for more mobile broadband? 1
UK Digital switchover ends - Northern Ireland completes on 24th October 20122
The last day of analogue television in the UK - goodbye PAL3
2 days left of analogue television - goodbye teletext4
3 days of analogue to go - goodbye to NICAM 7285
Changes to Saorview frequencies and power levels, 24th October 20126

Friday, 23 August 2013
Dave Lindsay

11:52 AM

P. Kieran Ward: Yes, Paddy may be able to receive UHF channel 39 from Black Mountain.

However it broadcasts horizontally and the other channels from the Black Mountain relay are vertically polarised. That said, C39 is much higher power so that will help with the receiving aerial being at opposite polarisation to the signal.

link to this comment
Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Niall burns
5:58 PM

We had all the rte channels on our free view hd TV up until this afternoon. Tried retuning them in but to no avail. Can anyone help

link to this comment
Niall burns's 4 posts GB flag
Saturday, 5 April 2014
10:11 PM

mrdtv: I live in East Sussex, UK and I often have my Irish relatives to stay. Where they live in Co Leitrim they have a choice of the NI British channels and also the Irish channels. They keep asking me why I can't get the Irish Republic channels. I have assumed that it's because I'm too far away. I only have a freeview box and don't currently subscribe to a satelite network. I did read a post on another website that it's something to do with media rights, and that it wouldn't be available even if I did subscribe to Sky or the like. I would be grateful for any advice. Many thanks. Nell

link to this comment
Nell's 1 post GB flag
Sunday, 6 April 2014
Dave Lindsay

3:08 PM

Nell: In Co Leitrim they may be able to receive from a Freeview terrestrial transmitter in the North, as well as Saorview from the South.

Obviously you can't pick up a terrestrial signal from Ireland. You won't get a satellite signal (Saorsat) either because the footprint doesn't cover the UK mainland. So you aren't likely to be able to watch RTE etc at your location.

The reason is as you suggest - it's to do with rights.

You could look to see if you could watch online, although I suspect you'll be disappointed. BBC iPlayer, for example, prohibits viewing outside of the UK and this is for the same reason.

link to this comment
Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 12 August 2014
M Brady
2:37 PM

What equipment do I require to pick up both UK freeview channels and RTE channels in a motorhome touring Ireland north and south?
Simple answer please as I am not technically minded.

link to this comment
M Brady's 1 post GB flag

5:56 PM

M Brady: The simple answer is a Freeview HD receiver. Plus a TV and aerial obviously. If you know where you are going you can check the coverage using the maps on this site.

link to this comment
Michael's 358 posts GB flag

8:37 PM

M Brady

The aerial you need should be a log-periodic design intended for use with a caravan. That design will enable you to receive signals across the whole band used for DTV in the UK and Ireland.

Other designs that are not of the log-periodic pattern will not give such good results everywhere, as is the requirement for a non-static caravan on a touring holiday.

A Google search using 'log-periodic caravan aerial' as the search criteria will show a number of suppliers and aerial options.

link to this comment
MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 1 October 2014
7:08 PM

I have rescanned my freeview box at weekend, I seem to have lost rte1, I have all the rest of the rte channels. I live in co Derry.

link to this comment
Gregory's 1 post GB flag
Thursday, 2 October 2014
Dave Lindsay

12:18 AM

Gregory : The fact that you are in Co Derry would suggest that you are receiving from one of the Saorview transmitters in the South. Try manually scanning the UHF channel of the transmitter you are using.

link to this comment
Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
P. Kieran Ward

11:49 PM

Gregory - I would take it that you get your Saorview signals from the Holywell Hill transmitter but I may be wrong. If it is Holywell Hill have a look at this page on this site. Holywell Hill Saorview transmitter | - 12 years of independent, free digital TV advice

link to this comment
P. Kieran Ward's 89 posts GB flag
Select more comments

Your comment please
Please post a question, answer or commentUK Free TV is here to help people. If you are rude or disrespectful all of your posts will be deleted and you will be banned.

Privacy policy: UK Free Privacy policy.